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Native Plants for the Landscape Guide - Native Trees and Hybrids

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Small Trees - Less Than 30' in Height:

Serviceberry  (Amelanchier arborea, A. canadensis, A. laevis, and Amelanchier x grandiflora): Small trees with medium growth rate; crown widths are 15' to 25'; shade tolerant, but do well in full sun; attractive bark, flowers and fruit; somewhat sensitive to drought, soil compaction, salt and leaf diseases; prefers moist, well drained, acid soils.

Recommended varieties include: Cumulus Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis "Cumulus")

Majestic Serviceberry  (Amelanchier laevis "Majestic")

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora "A. Brilliance")

Robin Hill Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora "Robin Hill")


Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis): a picturesque small tree with heart-shaped leaves; rose-pink buds in spring before leaves appear; spreading crown, 25'-35'; adapted to full sun or light shade; acid to alkaline, well drained soils; needs occasional fertilization; select only trees from northern seed sources.

Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.): very tough, small flowering tree; acid to alkaline soils, droughty to wet, light to heavy; select for form and branching habit, disease resistance and absence of dangerous thorns.

Recommended varieties include: Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis)

Crimson Cloud English Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata "Superba")

Winter King Green Hawthorn (Crataegus viridis "Winter King")


Flowering Crabapples (Malus spp. & hybrids): wide variety of shapes, with crown widths varying from 10'-25'; provide attractive flowers and fruit, little fall color; select varieties with insect and disease resistance; most require full sun and moist, well drained, acid soil. Recommended varieties include:

Adams Crabapple (Malus "Adams")

Harvest Gold Crabapple (Malus "Hargozam")

Madonna Crabapple (Malus "Mazam")

Prairifire Crabapple (Malus "Prairifire")

Red Jewel Crabapple (Malus "Jewelcole")

Sentinel Crabapple (Malus "Sentinel")

Snowdrift Crabapple (Malus "Snowdrift")

Spring Snow Crabapple (Malus "Spring Snow")


Shubert Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana "Shubert"): hardy, vigorous tree with colorful foliage, flowers and fruit; upright branching; tolerates low fertility and dry sites; limited service life (10-20 years); "Canada Red Select" has faster growth and more regular branching habit.

Intermediate Trees: 30' - 45' in Height

American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana): irregular crown 20'-35' in width; foliage is yellow, orange and red in fall; bark is bluish gray; prefers well drained, acid to neutral soil; relatively disease free.

Imperial Honeylocust (Gleditsia tricanthos "Impcole"): dense, wide spreading crown (35'-45'); usually free of thorns and fruit; susceptible to insect damage; tolerates salt, heat, drought and compaction.

American Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana): graceful tree with gray brown bark; crown width is 20'-30'; few pest problems; tolerates shade and will thrive in full sun; prefers well drained, acid soil.

Large Trees - More Than 50' in Height

Red Maple (Acer rubrum): heights to 75', crown widths from 30'-70'; autumn foliage is yellow to red; tolerates partial shade; shallow root system with some surface roots; wet to dry, acid soils. Some recommended varieties include:

October Glory Red Maple (Acer rubrum "PNI 0268")

Red Sunset Red Maple (Acer rubrum "Franksred")

Autumn Flame Red Maple (Acer rubrum "Autumn Flame")


Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum): heights to 80'; crown widths from 40'-70'; fall foliage is brilliant yellow, orange or red; slow to medium growth rate and good shade tolerance; sensitive to heat, soil compaction and drought. Recommended cultivars include:

Bonfire Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum  "Bonfire")

Commemoration Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum  "Commemoration")

Goldspire Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum "Goldspire")

Green Mountain Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum "PNI 0285")

Legacy Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum "Legacy")

Seneca Chief Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum "Seneca Chief")


River Birch (Betula nigra "Heritage"): heights to 50'; crown widths from 30'-35';  salmon colored bark; good resistance to birch borer; limited service life as street tree; prefers moist, well-drained acid soils.

Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis "Prairie Pride"): heights to 50'; crown widths from 40' to 50'; yellow  autumn foliage; small dark red to purple fruit; tolerates light shade, acid to alkaline soil, and wet to dry sites.

White Ash (Fraxinus americana): heights to 80'; crown widths from 40' to 70'; transplants readily; prefers moist and well drained, acid to neutral soil; tolerates partial shade; yellow to maroon fall colors. Some suggested cultivars include:

Autumn Applause White Ash (Fraxinus americana "Autumn Applause")

Autumn Purple White Ash (Fraxinus americana "Autumn Purple")

Champaign County White Ash (Fraxinus americana "Champaign County"

Rosehill White Ash (Fraxinus americana "Rosehill")

Skyline White Ash (Fraxinus americana "Skycole")

Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica): heights to 65'; crown widths from 35' to 55'; yellow fall foliage; wet to dry, acid to alkaline soils; rapid growth rate; tolerates drought and compaction. Suggested varieties include:

Patmore Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica "Patmore")

Summit Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica "Summit")

Urbanite Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica "Urbanite")


Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos): heights to 8-'; crown widths from 40' to 70'; yellow fall foliage; provides light shade; transplants readily; tolerates heat, drought, compaction and wide range of soil conditions; select only thornless cultivars. Suggested varieties include:

Moraine Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos "Moraine")

Shademaster Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos "PNI 2835")

Skyline Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos "Skycole")

Large Trees - More Than 50' in Height (continued)

Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua): height to 75'; crown width from 40' to 65'; glossy, star shaped leaves; shades of green, yellow, scarlet and purple in fall; needs acid soil, full sun, and adequate space for roots. Recommended varieties are:

Gold Dust Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua "Goduzam")

Moraine Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua "Moraine")


Cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminata): height to 70'; crown widths from 30' to 55'; attractive form and branching habit; full sun to partial shade and calcareous soils; prefers moist, well drained soil; brown fall color.

Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica): height to 70'; crown widths from 30' to 45'; foliage is dark, glossy green changing to bright yellow, orange and scarlet in fall; prefers well drained, acid soil and full sun or light shade; resistant to insects and diseases.

Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) Height to 80'; crown widths from 50' to 80'; tolerates drought, salt, soil compaction, and some shade; transplants more readily than other white oaks; growth rate is moderate; yellow-brown foliage in autumn.

Shingle Oak (Quercus imbricaria): height to 65'; crown widths from 40' to 70'; transplants well, plant in full sun; tolerates dry soils, but prefers moist, well drained, acid soils; yellow-brown to russet fall colors.

Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa): height to 90'; crown widths from 60' to 90'; intolerant of shade; grows slowly; adapted to wide range of soils, from acid to alkaline and moist to dry; yellow-brown fall foliage.

Pin Oak (Quercus palustris): height to 75'; crown widths from 40' to 55'; transplants readily; requires acid soil free of limestone and full sun; pruning of lower branches for pedestrians/traffic; bronze or red in fall.

Willow Oak (Quercus phellos): height to 75'; crown widths from 45' to 60'; prefers acid soil and full sun; fast growth rate; yellow-brown to russet fall foliage.

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra): height to 80'; crown widths from 45' to 65'; fast growing; prefers well drained, acid soil and full sun; reddish to golden brown fall foliage.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii): height to 80'; crown widths from 45' to 65'; growth rate is moderate to fast; tolerates drought, salt, soil compaction, and alkaline soils; prefers sun and well drained soils; fall colors are reddish brown to scarlet.

Legend American Linden (Tilia americana "Wandell"): height to 70'; crown widths from 35' to 50'; prefers moist, fertile soil but tolerates drier sites; shade tolerant but grows well in full sun; intolerant of salt; bright red buds and twigs in winter.

Redmond American Linden (Tilia americana "Redmond"): height to 70'; crown widths from 30' to 45'; intolerant of salt; prefers moist, fertile soil, but tolerates drier sites; transplants readily; shade tolerant, but grows well in full sun; growth rate is medium to fast with an upright growth habit; new twigs are crimson.

Suggested street trees are native tree species, cultivars of native species and, infrequently, hybrids of native species.  More detailed information on the above listed street trees is available from Street Tree Fact Sheets by H. D. Gerhold, W. N. Wandell and N.L. Lacasse - a publication of the Municipal Tree Restoration Program.